How To Stop A Child Racking Up Huge Mobile Phone Bill

by - Last Updated on September 13, 2016

Mobile phone bills can get expensive enough without adding anything unwanted to them. Unfortunately, many apps and games these days include in app purchases that get stuck on to your phone bill at the end of the month. If you choose to make these purchases that’s fine, but if, like many of us, you let your child play with your phone (or even their own phone), then you might end up paying for things that you didn’t want in the first place.

Stopping your kid from racking up in app game bills is relatively easy, as long as you’re vigilant. As a parent, your first line of defence is always going to be knowledge. And in this case that means reviewing each and every app that you or your child adds onto a mobile to check whether or not it’s possible to buy things in app. In fact, even better: play the game yourself, that way you’ll really know what the options are.

Your second step should be to make sure that phone purchases aren’t one click. Many mobiles (and many apps) offer the convenient option of one click buying so that you don’t need to enter your password or payment information every time you want to buy something. This makes it easy for a child to press one button and add to your bill, and they may even do so accidentally. You’ll need to go into each app individually and disable one click buying, though you might find that your phone model also allows you to do this from the settings menu of your phone.

But wait… you’re not done yet. You’ll also need to go into other apps or programmes and disable one click payment. This includes apps like Amazon, since some web pages, games and other apps will redirect to Amazon for purchase. And don’t forget your app store. Whether you’re using Google Play or iTunes or the Apple App Store, one click payment needs to be disabled in all of them. This will prevent the purchase of actual apps as well as in app purchases.

If you do find that charges have been added to your bill (after you’ve removed your payment info of course) then your first stop should be the app or game developer. If the developer doesn’t solve the problem to your satisfaction, then check out the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline for info on what to do next.

With all that in mind – Pay as you go might be a better option and one worth considering if you’re child is quite young. Little can go wrong when there’s a set budget to use and it also teaches them how to manage their finances.